Liz Warren Demands JPMorgan & Goldman Name Clients Trading Russia Debt


Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

Perhaps taking anti-Russia action in the US to McCarthyite era levels, a pair of Democrat Congressional leaders are seeking information from JPMorgan Chase and Goldman Sachs on trades of Russian debt since the invasion of Ukraine kicked off. US Senator Elizabeth Warren, who serves on the Senate Banking Committee, and Representative Katie Porter are demanding that names be named.

"The Democratic lawmakers asked for a list of clients involved in trading of Russian government and corporate debt since Feb. 24, when Moscow launched a 'special military operation' against Ukraine," Reuters reports, following Bloomberg earlier on Tuesday breaking the story.

Seeming to first admit that investment banks wagering on distressed securities is perfectly legal and even standard for Wall Street, a letter by Warren and Porter addressed to JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon and Goldman CEO David Solomon begins with "We are seeking information on how your dealings could benefit Putin’s regime and how your institution may be profiting off of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine."

"This maneuvering is legal under the sanctions put forward by the US Treasury because trading in the secondary markets is not prohibited so long as counterparties to the transactions are not sanctioned entities, and so long as the Russian sovereign debt being traded was issued prior to March 1," they wrote both CEOs.

While neither bank has yet to comment following Tuesday's report, JPMorgan stressed in an earlier April statement that "None of the trades violate sanctions or benefit Russia" despite the public controversy of some moves, which Bloomberg reviews as follows

Trading in Russian debt has become a hot-button topic — and the demands for information threaten to widen the spotlight from banks arranging transactions to potentially numerable hedge funds and other investors who’ve waded back into the market. The invasion of Ukraine initially sent prices of Russia-linked bonds tumbling, even if they weren’t subject to international sanctions. Some in the industry have since adopted differing views over whether to take advantage of the buying opportunity.

JPMorgan and Goldman had also previously announced in early March they are currently unwinding their Russian businesses, which made them the first major banks to do so.

Still, the lawmakers say they want to uncover the type, amount and profits made from any of these Russia related trades, and additionally how much the banks made from them.

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